The Brooklyn Cookbook, by Lynn Stallworth and Rod Kennedy (Knopf, 1991).

2004_10_food_brooklyncookbook.JPG Gothamist loves Brooklyn's food, from the spicy jerk chicken at Brawta to vodka and pelmenis on the Brighton Beach boardwalk. So we were pleasantly surprised by the Brooklyn Cookbook, which, in 230 recipes, covers the breadth of the borough's diverse cuisine, from Irish, Jewish, and Italian to Polish, African, Hispanic, and Caribbean. Not limited to restaurant recipes, the book includes recipes from individuals and institutions as well, accompanied with so many historical photos and oral histories that the book qualifies as a history of Brooklyn as well as a cookbook.

2004_10_food_rugelach.JPGBut as fall starts smacking Gothamist around, we have one thing on our minds: after-school snacks. Or after-errands snacks, or after-work snacks. Anything to look forward to coming home to after a long day. And that's where today's recipes come in. Margaret Palca Bakes has long been Gothamist's favorite source for cheesecake and rugalach, and we think that a Super Coffee Milkshake is the perfect thing to wash some chocolate rugalach down with. There's even an alcoholic version for a really hard day.

The Recipes

Steve Barrison's Super Coffee Milkshake
Makes 2 8-oz shakes
7 oz. milk
2 oz. Manhattan Special Coffee Soda
2 oz. coffee, or 2 tsp. instant coffee
4-5 scoops coffee ice cream
1-2 shots Kahlua (if necessary)
3 ice cubes (more in summer)

Combine everything in the blender. Start at the lowest speed and slowly increase the speed to the highest setting. Blend for at least 2 minutes.

Margaret Palca's Chocolate-Filled Rugalach
Makes 64 pieces

3-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour

1-1/2 c chopped pecans
1-1/2 c mini-chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
2t cinnamon
1/2 c apricot preserves

1. Using the mixer, beat the butter & cream cheese together until light & fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Gradually add the flour, a little at a time, until the dough is blended. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

2. Divide the dough into four portions, place each on a sheet of plastic wrap, and enclose the dough in the wrap. Refrigerate overnight--it must be well chilled & firm.

3. When ready to bake, cut 4 12-inch squares of wax paper & set them aside. Grease 3 large baking sheets. Work with one portion of dough at a time & leave the remaining portions in the refrigerator.

4. Place a portion of the dough on a floured surface and knead it slightly until it is smooth, about 10 seconds. If it is too firm to knead, let it soften slightly, about 5 minutes.

5. Flour one square of waxed paper. Place the dough in the center and form a 6-inch circle of dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle the dough with flour and roll it into a 12-inch circle. Set aside on a cookie sheet or flat surface. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 portions of dough and chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350.

6. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling by combining the chopped nuts, chocolate chips, sugar, & cinnamon & blending well. Remove one circle of dough from the fridge at a time and, working quickly, spread 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons of preserves in the center. Then sprinkle 1 cup of the filling mixture, spreading it evenly to the edge. Cut the dough into 16 even wedges (like pizza). Starting at the outside edge, roll each wedge toward the center. Place the rugalach on greased baking sheets 1/2 inch apart.

7. Continue with the remaining dough rounds. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the pans for 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.